Dear Meg: I’m Not Ready

Jess McGlynnAugust 16, 2013

In two weeks time you start school.  It seems so soon now after just being an abstract idea for such a long time.  I think I’ve had my head buried in the sand a bit because as it comes ever closer I’m starting to feel a little bit unsure…okay, a lot unsure.

I don’t think I’m ready for this.

In my mind you are still this helpless little baby, who looked to me to provide everything you needed.  I can’t correlate that with the little person who stands in front of me and says ‘actually Mummy, I think I’d like to play this game by myself.’  Who needs a certain amount of time alone each day to stop the tantrums and strops that come with feeling like I’m constantly looking over your shoulder.

You’ve been a presence at my side for the majority of the past 4 years and now you’re going to be gone for 190 days a year.  Forgive me for sounding overly morbid, I’m writing this as though you will be gone forever, I know, but in a way it feels like I will be losing a part of you.  For the next 13 years of your life you will be in a school environment and there is a sense of ‘that’s it now’ about it all.

I wonder what Eli will do without you to take charge and to entice him into mischief.  I will miss catching you both daily getting up to no good and being met with you, Little Miss Clever Clogs, immediately jumping on the defensive, “Mummy, I did not tell Eli how to open the gate by standing on the chair.”  “Mummy, Eli wanted a biscuit, not me.”  “Mummy, I didn’t hit Eli, I just pushed him with my hand.”  I hope you still retain the beautiful bond you have when you aren’t spending all day together.

In the past month you have changed more than I could have thought possible.  Gone is the preschooler who would check over her shoulder just to make sure I was still there, still watching, who would need a little nod of reassurance before taking on a challenge.  A little girl has blossomed in her place.  Already a little girl who doesn’t need me as much.

You are so ready for school.  Now you’ve finished at preschool you wake up every morning asking if it’s time to go.  You are bright beyond your years and will really flourish at school, of that I’m sure.  We laugh at your strong-willed attitude and your reluctance to let other children join in with your games but I know you are a social butterfly really, and I’m excited for the long-lasting friendships you will build and the things you will learn along the way.

But there’s still a part of me that doesn’t want to let my baby go.  I want to surround you and protect you and keep you next to me and stop you from having to face negative situations.  It makes me feel panicky to think that you might have to deal with a really tough situation and I won’t be there to hold your hand through it, to tell you it will be alright.  I hope you will always tell me of these things afterwards, that our relationship won’t alter as you begin to grow up and break away.

You are precious, Meg, and I hope you always know and believe that about yourself.

I don’t think I’m ready for this.

Love Mummy xx

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